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UoN student wins Nestle design contest

A third-year female student at the University of Nairobi is the winner of the Nestle brand, Zoegas package design competition.

Esther Gichuhi’s design will be showcased in the 2016 Christmas edition of the Zoegas brand, which is Sweden’s second largest coffee brand. This will be the first design made by an African to be showcased on the Zoegas Christmas package edition.

Ms Gichuhi, 22, also receives a fully paid six-month internship at Ogilvy and Mather advertising.

Zoegas launched the competition in February this year to give female students pursuing their undergraduate in Arts and Design an opportunity to come up with their own original design for the Christmas edition of the Zoegas coffee brand with the theme ‘Coffee by Women’.

The photo which depicts a woman standing in a coffee field with a basket in her hands was chosen from 14 other entries that were submitted from other students from University of Nairobi pursuing art and design.

“My inspiration comes from the African woman who has always been the pillar of wisdom and strength in the community, and given the fact that Zoegas coffee brand which is a Nestle brand is all about empowering women coffee farmers, I just tried to bring in the balance between Christmas and coffee by women,” said Ms Gichuhi.

“By placing the woman at the center of attention, the design shows the importance of including the women in responsible coffee farming to get good coffee for the future as well,” said Ms Catherine Ossborn the marketing manager Zoegas who announced the winner from Sweden via video-conference at the Nestle regional head office.

“Since 1988, every Christmas the brand has introduced a limited edition coffee with carefully selected beans from chosen origins. Therefore this year we wanted the design to come from an African designer because although Zoegas coffee is not in the African market the brand has initiated women empowering programmes in Kenya including its Nescafe plan initiative where it has trained over 3000 women to venture into coffee and engage in the management of farmers’ cooperative societies,” said Ms Christine Masta the public affairs manager at Nestle equatorial African region.

However, it was not an easy task for the Ms Gichuhi who says that she had to learn how to use a digital drawing tablet since the technique is still not taught at the university.

“We went to Zurich for a research study and it was amazing to see the technology being used by other art students in the world to create pictures or illustrations. It is unfortunate that our local universities still use free hand as opposed to other parts of the world where the use of free hand has evolved thanks to technology,” she told Nairobi News.